Jump back into an arcade classic!
I recently got my hands on a review copy of Atari’s modern twist of their arcade classic, Tempest 4000. I was able to play the demo of the game at this years Electronics and Entertainment Expo and liked what I saw The game has fast paced action and is simplistic at the same time. The controls are relatively simple but will take a lot of practice to master! Let’s jump right into it, shall we?
I’m going to start with the music this time around as it sounds like you have been thrown into a cross between a disco and a techno dance party. If you combine the music with the graphical style, this is a perfect look for the game as it also looks like you’re flying through a techno dance party.
You can move your ship in multiple directions and dodge enemy attacks in the same way. As you progress during the levels, you gain the ability to upgrade your attacks and ship such as being able to jump but you don’t gain points by dodging enemy attacks by jumping. That’s an unfortunate turn of events because there is so much activity going on during the fight that jumping is the only way to get out of enemy fire.
There are two modes that you can play; Pure mode and Survival mode and each one has its differences. Survival mode has you play a certain number of lives throughout the whole playthrough. Pure mode on the other hand has you play with a certain number of lives but it also plays just like the classic arcade game.
The point and shoot method does get a little worn out after a while but the strategy adds to the fun of the game. You never really know what set of enemies are going to come after you during each level. You can also use your special attacks during each level to survival! As I mentioned before jumping plays a huge role in levels but you need to earn you way to jump status and that takes a little bit of time during each stage. Learning when to jump and when to use your special attacks could save you from certain death. The levels are different shapes, where each one takes different strategy to succeed. One level is a “U” shape and one is a square shape where different strategies will be needed for success.
The action comes at you very quickly at times on screen, so much so that it’s tough to tell what’s going on during gameplay. Some of the time, it felt like the only way to dodge enemy attacks was to hold down the shoot button and “go to town” on the enemy forces. There where other times where enemies would damage you and you didn’t expect to be hit and the opposite could be said too where you did expect damage and nothing would happen.
The first few levels have on-screen mini tutorials so you can learn the controls and basics of the game such as “collect all power-ups” or further away enemies score more points. In-between levels you can score more points by flying between rings by tilting the PS4 controller but it was tough as the controller wasn’t that responsive to motion.
Tempest 4000 has an old school arcade shoot-em-up vibe to it as well as a modern techno vibe to it too. However the gameplay could get a little stale after awhile but if you’re looking for a nostalgia fest from the arcade of the original, then I would recommend this for you! I’m giving Tempest 4000 for the PlayStation 4 a 7/10. I would like to thank Atari for the review copy.